25 Nov 2015 – Italian Sesame Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of shortening ( Crisco solid)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cut the shortening in pieces.
  • Beat slightly 2 eggs.  Add to the eggs: 1/2 cup of milk.
  • Combine the dry ingredients and mix together.  Pinch off a small amount of dough and roll in your hands.  Shape into the size of a finger & taper at each end.
  • You may also shape into balls or crescent shapes.
  • Roll cookies in the sesame seeds.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

23 Nov 2015 – Cousin Francis 

Last week, my Mom and I were reminiscing about cousin Francis.  He was special to both of us, and we have many fond memories of him.  My Mother and Francis grew up together in Mobile as children.  They were like best friends.  They attended the same schools from elementary through high school.  Francis worked at the Seafood business that Our family owned.  He would go with my Mom to pick up the fresh seafood from the Mobile Bay and bring it to the restaurant to sell.  Francis also delivered groceries for the business.  Francis was my father’s best man at my parent’s wedding.

I knew Francis while I was growing up as a child.  He was always the one that loved to have fun and cooked some of the best gumbo around!  The gumbo had big pieces of crab, shrimp, sausage and rice with seafood seasoning.  Unfortunately, no recipe on this one folks!  Francis combined his fantastic food with drinks  and dancing at his parties.  In Chicago, we called them “house parties”.   My sisters and I had a house party one night, and one night only.  Perhaps I will share that story in a future post.

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11 Nov 2015 – Korean Conflict – Roland Davis (My Father)

Happy Veterans Day!  A special thanks to all of our military and their families for their service!  It’s truly a Team effort!  Following is a picture of my father and his friend while serving in Korea in 1953.


Roland Davis & Timothy - Korea 1953

Roland Davis (left) & Timothy Perkins (right) – Korea 1953


During my childhood, I don’t remember my father talking much about his service.  Most of what I will tell you today is either documented in his discharge papers, based on my research, or based on family history.

On 5 November 1952, Roland Davis reported to Montgomery, AL for in processing which consisted of uniform issue and mental and physical exams.  I believe his basic training was done at Camp Stoneman, CA per his brother Roosevelt.   When the US Army inducted him for the Korean Conflict, my father was 20 years old.  Prior to entering the service, he lived with his mother and three brothers in Mobile, AL.

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5 Nov 2015 – Health History

When we do our family tree, we focus on births, deaths, marriages, and other significant events.  One very important piece of information is generally missing.  As you do your genealogical research, take the time to gather health history as well.  This is helpful information for you, your family and your doctor, especially for diseases that are hereditary.

There are several options to gather health information.  For deceased persons in my tree, I generally add cause of death as a fact to my tree.  You can also upload documents and attach to your tree.  Be mindful what information you share especially if you make your tree accessible to the public.

The March of Dimes has a very comprehensive  family-health-history-form that could be completed and attached as a fact to your family tree.  This form is pretty involved.

Other useful sites include:

My Family Health

Tracing Your Health History at Genealogy.com

My Family Health Portrait

Know Your Family Health History at FamilySearch

Family Health History Toolkit

Ancestry.com – Creating a Health History (requires Family Tree Maker software)


Between The Dashes

5 Nov 2015 – Italian Fig Cookies

With the holidays approaching, dessert recipes are in demand.  Following is a recipe from the Italian side of the family.  Enjoy!

  • 1 pound dates
  • 1 pound figs
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1 orange peel, juice of one orange
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 small can of crushed pineapple
  • Cook mixture for 5 minutes keep stirring so it will not stick
Ingredients for Dough:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder, pinch of salt
  • 4 – 5 cups flour
  • Beat eggs, add sugar, orange juice & beat, set aside.
  • Mix flour, butter like a pie crust.
  • Add baking powder & salt.
  • Add beaten eggs.  Mix all together.  Add vanilla last.
  • Roll out dough on lightly floured surface start at the end and place filling along the edge & roll up & then cut into squares.  Continue until you finish the all of your dough.  You may want to roll the dough in small batches.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes.
  • Cool & frost with powdered icing


Directions for Powdered sugar Icing (makes a lot so you may want to cut in half):

  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • A few tablespoons of milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or anise flavoring
  • Combine sugar, milk and flavoring in a medium bowl, stirring well until all the sugar is dissolved – (I use a whisk)